, Volume 96, Issue 3-4, pp 209-219
Date: 24 Apr 2008

Simulation of extreme precipitation over the Yangtze River Basin using Wakeby distribution

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Abstract

Based on the daily observational precipitation data at 147 stations in the Yangtze River Basin during 1960–2005 and projected daily data of 79 grid cells from the ECHAM5/ MPI-OM model in the 20th and 21st century, time series of precipitation extremes which contain AM (Annual Maximum) and MI (Munger Index) are constructed. The distribution feature of precipitation extremes is analyzed based on the two index series. Three principal results were obtained, as stated in the sequel. (i) In the past half century, the intensity of extreme heavy precipitation and drought events was higher in the mid-lower Yangtze than in the upper Yangtze reaches. Although the ECHAM5 model still can’t capture the precipitation extremes over the Yangtze River Basin satisfactorily, spatial pattern of the observed and the simulated precipitation extremes are much similar to each other. (ii) For quantifying the characteristics of extremely high and extremely low precipitation over the Yangtze River Basin, four probability distributions are used, namely: General Extreme Value (GEV), General Pareto (GPA), General Logistic (GLO), and Wakeby (WAK). It was found that WAK can adequately describe the probability distribution of precipitation extremes calculated from both observational and projected data. (iii) Return period of precipitation extremes show spatially different changes under three greenhouse gas emission scenarios. The 50-year heavy precipitation and drought events from simulated data during 1951–2000 will become more frequent, with return period below 25 years, for the most mid-lower Yangtze region in 2001–2050. The changing character of return periods of precipitation extremes should be taken into account for the hydrological design and future water resources management.